By Dillon McClain

[Perspective] God of the valley

By Dillon McClain

Many of you may embark on the journey through the Bible annually or in other regular intervals.  If so, you may currently be struggling through Leviticus or some of the requirements we are all thankful to have only experienced the New Covenant.   Every time I go back through the Old Testament, I am reminded of how God is at work and perpetually about His business.  

When we discuss the heroes of the faith, we tend to only hit the highlights. I am guilty of glossing over some of the details that make these accounts hard to fathom and I am not confident that I could have endured as Job or Joseph did.  

Despite my lack of confidence had I been placed in his shoes; I am always encouraged by Joseph’s endurance and ability to overcome each setback with unwavering strength.  Joseph was sold into slavery at age 17 and it was not until age 30 that he entered Pharoah’s service.  For 13 years, he was wrongly imprisoned and forgotten by those he assisted.  In those dark and lonely times, it would have been understandable if Joseph had given up, but then he would have never seen all God was orchestrating to save Israel. 

This makes me thankful for those who have sacrificially served at the Arkansas Baptist Foundation over the last 75 years.  As of the end of 2023, the Foundation has been able to participate in what God is doing around this state and the world by distributing over $575 million since its inception.  It seems every year I have been at the Foundation that God is blessing the Foundation’s work as we continue to hit new distribution milestones and assist Arkansas Baptists in furthering His Kingdom through faithful stewardship.   

One could say that my tenure at the Foundation has been a “mountaintop experience” but it could not always be characterized in that manner. In the early days of the Foundation, we had only distributed $110,101 by our 25th year of existence but by our 50th anniversary we had distributed over $65 million.  Once again, I would have understood if our predecessors had determined it was not worth the effort.  They endured all the ups and downs of the market since 1949, and I can only assume they sometimes wondered what was going to happen to the Foundation during those trying times.   

We know that hindsight is 20/20, but looking back on what God has done should embolden us in our ministry today.  God is at work even when ministry is hard or life circumstances are beating us down at every turn.  Don’t let your current struggles cause you to forget the fact that God is always going about His business of restoring humanity and saving His creation.  Remember that God is using your current circumstances to bring about something incredible for future generations.  If you are in the valley today, forge ahead.  The God of the mountain is still the God of the valley.   

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